WENATCHEE, Wash. – If you wish you were soaking up some sun on a beach somewhere, don’t fret – Stemilt has a solution for you: the classic apple with a tropical twist! Stemilt’s proprietary variety, Piñata®, is the apple that will bring some sunshine and sales to your produce department shelves as we roll into the holiday season.
“This year’s Piñata® harvest was a great, successful one,” states Roger Pepperl, Stemilt’s marketing director. “It’s a ‘classic crop’ with high colors, excellent condition, and dessert flavors with a nice balance of acids and sugars. Consumers will not be disappointed when they get their hands on these apples.”
The 2017 Piñata® crop was harvested at peak timing which allows Stemilt to maximize the apple’s beautiful color and high acids and sugars. The Piñata® is a full red to stripy red with a yellow-orange background making it an apple that really pops on the shelves. Although the apple variety is not as new as other recently revealed varieties, Pepperl accredits the high quality crop to well-established trees.
“We have some of the best, most experienced farmers in the industry and they have worked hard to ensure that the trees are well-established and cared for,” states Pepperl. “Their dedication to those trees is extremely apparent in this year’s crop. They are producing large, high-quality, Piñata® apples that have everything a consumer wants: a crisp bite with an explosion of flavor.”
Piñata® apples are peaking at size 80s conventionally and size 100 organically. Pepperl suggests that retailers should capitalize on the smaller sizes as small sized fruit bodes well with parent consumers who are looking to provide healthy, flavorful snacks for their children.
“Lil Snapper® kid-size fruit is an ideal item to carry, especially in a year with smaller fruit sizing,” states Pepperl. “The Piñata® apple is a favorite among children consumers as it has the perfect balance of acid and sugar. Plus, the 3lb pouch bags have proven very successful among parent consumers as they offer the right amount of fruit for a school week.”
Stemilt offers Lil Snappers® Piñata® in 9/3lb. pouch bags, conventional and organic. Stemilt also offers Piñata® in value bags that fall under the umbrella of the Apple Lovers program. Those value bags will be offered in an 8/5lb. Piñata® display ready carton (DRC).
Pepperl also encourages retailers to use the fun, tropical branding as a way to catch the eye of the consumer. Both Piñata® DRCs and standard cartons have palm trees, an apple island and a cruise ship to play off the “tropical twist.” Pepperl said that chains have been successful when constructing high visual, stimulating Pinata® apple displays with cartons in produce departments.
“Piñata® promotions now through Cinco de Mayo are essential in pushing high volumes and earning dollars,” states Pepperl. “We have seen chains do exceptionally well in January as they use the branding to create a ‘tropical destination’ for shoppers and encourage purchases during the cold winter months. We have also seen displays that combine Piñata® apples with pineapples to create an illusion of an island destination and encourage consumers to jump on board with the tropical twist!”
Piñata® is the brand name for the Pinova apple cultivar, which was naturally crossed between three heirloom varieties – Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Duchess of Oldenburg – back in the 1970s in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany. Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathisons, obtained the exclusive rights to grow and market the variety in 2004 and it hit the U.S. market in 2009. Now that it has been established, Piñata® has become a consumer favorite because of its versatility.
The Piñata® variety is an ideal snacking and pairing apple due to its explosive flavor and ability to naturally resist oxidation, or browning. It also does well as a culinary apple due to its Golden Delicious heritage, an apple that is popular to bake with. The Piñata® variety holds up well against heated culinary applications, making it a great fit for pies, tarts, and whatever else one dreams up with apples, states Pepperl.
“The Piñata® variety couldn’t come at a better time as the holidays are right around the corner,” states Pepperl. “It is the ideal apple in so many different ways; from its flavor to its branding to its culinary abilities, there really isn’t anything this apple can’t do.”
Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is a leading shipper of sweet cherries and organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.
Source: Stemilt Growers